• Patrick McBride

Annual Plan adopted with no rate increase

Westland District Council has adopted the Annual Plan 2020/2021 today, Tuesday 30 June.

Mayor Bruce Smith says “We wanted to put out a draft Annual Plan with a zero percent increase and that is what we have adopted today. This will assist our community as we recover from Covid-19 and the impact of the loss of tourist income.

Council will be working hard to ensure that rates remain affordable over the long-term but we have to face the fact that there will be some higher rate rises so that we can provide our intended levels of service and improve our infrastructure assets.”

Council received 132 submissions and heard from 15 submitters at the hearing on 16 June.

Key changes to the Annual Plan adopted by Council include investigating a land-based option for future treatment of Hokitika wastewater, taking ownership of the Westland Sports Hub and funding the insurance through the Hokitika Community Rate and providing a $78,616 grant for unforeseen project costs, funding of $57,500 to the Regent Theatre with a commitment to include this in the 2021-31 LTP and funding of $15,000 to support the work of the West Coast Wilderness Trail Trust.

“Council has provided additional funding to some groups as a result of submissions to the plan and those will be included in the 2021/2022 rates increases, no one is going to see them in the next rates bill”, reported Mayor Smith.